A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Friday, February 22, 2019

FLASHBACK FRIDAY- The String Diaries by Stephen Lloyd Jones- Feature and Review


A jumble of entries, written in different hands, different languages, and different times. They tell of a rumour. A shadow. A killer.

The only interest that Oxford Professor Charles Meredith has in the diaries is as a record of Hungarian folklore ... until he comes face to face with a myth.

For Hannah Wilde, the diaries are a survival guide that taught her the three rules she lives by: verify everyone, trust no one, and if in any doubt, run.

But Hannah knows that if her daughter is ever going to be safe, she will have to stop running and face the terror that has hunted her family for five generations.

And nothing in the diaries can prepare her for that.



The String DiariesThe String Diaries by Stephen Lloyd Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The String Diaries by Stephen Lloyd Jones by a 2014 Mulholland publication.

The String Diaries is a complex supernatural thriller that spans several time periods starting in the 1800s, with a stop over in the 1970s, and ending in current times.

Hannah, her husband, and young daughter are on the run and in terrible danger. They are hiding out in a farm house, borrowing a little time before Jakab finds them.

Steeped in mythology and folklore, Hannah's family has done battle with Jakab for ages but can't shake him. Hannah is determined to stop him because she is desperate to save her daughter. But, Jakab is a wily nemesis because he is able to change shapes and embody the people close to you.

Whew! This is not the usual shape shifter story by any means. Jakab's abilities are the stuff that legends are made of. It's hard to believe this is even possible, which is why diaries have been passed down through generations and closely studied.

An angry Jakab curses Hannah's family because he feels betrayed by a woman that didn't wait long enough for him and married another man. Equal parts thriller, horror, suspense, and mystery make this a solid and unique novel.

The author did a fine job of taking us through the past all the way to the present for the ultimate good versus evil showdown. The character of Jakab was already a sociopath, and bitter, before he decided to make Hannah's family miserable for all eternity.

The suspense leading up to the climax was supercharged because we know Jakab is coming, we just don't know how he will make his grand entrance or what form he will use, and it will take a miracle for Hannah to survive, much less save her daughter.

Will she be able to break the curse or will Jakab emerge triumphant once again?





Stephen Lloyd Jones grew up in Chandlers Ford, Hampshire, and studied at Royal Holloway College, University of London. He now lives in Surrey with his wife, three young sons and far too many books. He's the author of The String Diaries, Written in the Blood and The Disciple.

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